About a year and a half ago, I realized he had a certain laugh for when he wanted to tell me something funny. I’d recognized it for a while before that, but it wasn’t until then that I consciously realized how intimate that was.
I usually hear it when I’m in a different room. I’ll be making dinner, or knitting, or getting ready for work. He’ll be on the computer, or playing a video game, and his laugh will appear. It’s a little louder than usual, and a bit more exaggerated. At some point, I unconsciously began interpreting it as him saying, This is so funny; Allison, you have to hear this. You’ll get a kick out of it.
For a long time, I insisted I would never get married. One day (before I met Spousal Unit), I woke up and thought that eventually, it might not be so bad. Maybe. Another day, years later, I thought that if I ever married anyone, it would be Boyfriend Unit, but I was not anywhere near ready for that.
Then came the day that I recognized that laugh for what it was. It made me feel closer to him than I ever had before – and it was such a simple, natural thing. It felt like something that had always been there and always would be. It was cozy; it was part of what made our tiny New Mexico apartment home.
I think that was what stripped away my final inhibitions, what brought me another step closer to him. I’d always had love and a soft warmth in my heart for him, but at that point it was brighter than ever.
I’d always thought knowing someone like that would get boring. One day, I’d wake up and know all his faults, all his jokes, all his smiles and every freckle on his body. There would be nothing new left, and we would grow stale. I had feared that happening.
But rather than being frightened of it, or weary, knowing his laugh felt like a comfort. It was a fireplace and a thick blanket, with a cup of hot chocolate, while a bitter storm raged outside. I know all of his smiles – even the Muppet one – but each still caresses my heart.
There are times when we drive each other crazy. I know all his annoying little quirks; he knows all my ridiculous trains of thought. Sometimes, it makes me want to tear out my hair.
But then he laughs. And my heart and his fall back in step, and we waltz away together, smiling and stepping on each other’s feet. And that’s my favorite part of us.